The Federal Government, through the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, has inaugurated a new governing board of the Nigerian Institute of Oceanography and Marine Research.
The board, made up of 13 members, comprises technocrats, seasoned administrators, politicians and people from the academia.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony in Lagos, the Chairman of the board, Abdulmalik Usman, stated that the board would work hard to champion robust policies and initiatives within its administration to galvanise research activities in the institute.
He said the administration would also ensure that the deficit between fish demand and supply was completely eliminated or reduced to the barest minimum.
He said, “As you are all aware, the diversification from a mono product economy dependent on oil to agriculture is one of the major planks of this administration. As such, the institute is positioned in good stead for the government’s agriculture promotion policy, building on the success of the Agricultural Transformation Agenda.”
Usman said in a bid to develop the institute, he would be putting in place sub-committees to handle research and extension programme, staff welfare and development, finance and general purpose, and media and publicity.
He added that with the support and cooperation the management and staff of the institute, the productivity and outlook of the institute would be improved.
Speaking at the event, the Executive Director, NIOMR, Dr. Gbolahan Akande, said the institute must be made to improve on yield per hectare of fish farms to enable the country to meet shortfalls.
He stated that importation of frozen fish was a drain on foreign exchange reserves, adding that it should be stopped.
Speaking further, Akande stated that the institute had so many technologies waiting to be commercialised, adding that good media publicity and contacts would be required to sensitise interested entrepreneurs to take up some of the technologies.